OWL Reading Program

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by mrs.oz, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

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    Jul 3, 2006

    Anyone using the OWL Reading Program? I don't like it and my supervisor bought it last year and made it mandatory that we use it this year. Anyone that can give me any ideas about using just bits and pieces of it would be very helpful. I do plan to use the whole thing.
     
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  3. preschoolteach

    preschoolteach Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2006

    My school division has just adopted this program for Preschool this year. I've never used it, but we recently had an inservice on the program, and I took the materials home to review over the summer, and it seems to be a great program. How do you implement the program and what parts don't you like about it?
     
  4. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

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    I can not get used to reading like that. I am use do to discussing and drawing attention to the books in my 1st reading. The short time I used the program by the 3rd reading the kids were complaining and I was bored. The Songs/letter/poem part does not go along with anything. Nothing fits together. I can't imagine finding time to read a story 5 times. I only used it a couple of times and then I kind of brushed it aside. Now we are being told it is mandatory that we implement it this coming year. Any ideas on how to use this program. I really don't know how I am going to use it. Help!!!!!!! Oh yeah and how much of the materials did you get with your program?
     
  5. preschoolteach

    preschoolteach Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2006

    We are going to have a more in-depth inservice on how to implement the program in a few weeks, so I'll let you know what suggestions and tips they give us. We received the whole OWL kit with the teacher manuals, classroom books, picture cards, song CD's, big books, and assessment books. We also received the OWL math program. My main concern with using the OWL program is not having enough time in the day to fit everything in. The program came with implementation DVD's that shows how other teachers use the program in their classrooms. This was pretty helpful but I just don't think I will have enough time in the schedule to do all of the components daily.
     
  6. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

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    Me either. Just curious of which county you are in. I noticed you were also from Virginia.
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 6, 2006

    I was at a different workshop, and the presenter mentioned that her program had adopted OWLS... she said she really liked the variety of books it gave her, many of which she hadn't used before. She also mentioned that new teachers tend to like it because it really sets out what to do when, but that veteran teachers found it a bit constricting. She's lucky, though, in the sense that she's allowed to use the parts she wants and suppliment other areas.
     
  8. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

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    They told us that it needed to be implemented into our program. I plan to implement it as little as possible. I have taught for 11 years. I know that that's not too long but enough years to be one of those veteran teachers that are having problems getting used to it.
     
  9. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 6, 2006

    Apparently, and this is just what I gathered from what the presenter said, it comes with specific activities to use with each book, which is read for a whole week. Again, this is great for beginning or non-creative teachers or to use as a springboard, but I would hope there's wiggle room for creativity. All the books she brought for us to use for creating lesson plans at our workshop were from the OWL series, and there is NO WAY I could spend that long on some of them!!!

    I'd be interested to hear from someone who's actually used the program. ;)
     
  10. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

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    Jul 6, 2006

    I am also interested in hearing the more creative side of it. I am still searching and hope that as I try to implement it that something will spark. As I said before I have a hard time finding a correlation. It does not seem to pertain to anything I am doing and I like for everything to kind of fit together. Ya know what I mean!
     
  11. lueylizard

    lueylizard Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2006

    Our district is using it

    Our district has been using OWL since the fall. I'm not in the classroom (although I do have an OWL set upstairs that I brought home to use with my DS). We met with an OWL rep in May to discuss what we would change, liked, etc. I should also mention that in my district our boss isn't saying we have to do the whole thing. So here's what the teachers liked;
    SWPL......just try and make the flannel board pieces now and use their website to get the patterns.
    The poem book...although it is bulky and hard to hang.
    The CD.
    The choice of small group activities.
    The flexibility of not having to start the first day the kids come (and I wouldn't recommend it either, focus on classroom management, routines, etc.).
    Schedule for both half and full day programs.
    5 turn conversations
    Many teachers really liked that you could easily adapt the activities for parent and child classroom activities.
    One of our veteran teachers liked that it gave her some new ideas.
    Scaffolded.
    It really reflects what you're actually doing in the classroom (if you're doing it right ;) ).

    Didn't like:
    the simplified wording. It does help to know that the curriculum was written so that any person, regardless of educational level or setting, could use the program.
    No seperate snack time in the schedule.
    Focus on language (which is good) but wished for more focus on letter sounds (appropriate letter sound introduction), phonemic awareness, etc.
    Some of the themes seem out of order in relation to the seasons.
    No time for activities like Second Step or Project Approach or cooperative learning.

    Also, some of our teacher's were worried about the returning 3 year olds but the rep gave an answer that made sense (which of course I can't remember). But basically, don't worry. Most returning 3 year olds are not going to sit there and spout back all of the answers to you and ruin the activity.

    Good luck...go to the Pearson website and use all of the resources they provide...lots of good stuff. And if change is bothersome to you...Who Moved My Cheese is a good read.
     
  12. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

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    Jul 9, 2006


    Usually change doesn't bother me at all. I usually change things from year to year. The one thing that bothers me are the reads and the way they do them and plus they do not correlate to any of the themes. Just like you said the themes are out of order and with this program you can not used them out of order. Also, I don't understand how the poems, songs, etc. correlate with each other.
     
  13. lueylizard

    lueylizard Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2006

    Hmmm

    Well...as far as the songs they may have been trying to avoid the Letter of Week style where everything is the same....ant song, ant book, ant snack, etc. The focus is on building vocabulary so some children need to hear the same songs for more than one week in order to remember them and use them. If you have a full day classroom though there is time for you to add some of your favorite songs.

    And after looking at each unit and getting a good idea of how the units build off of one another/scaffold, my guess is that you would be able to switch the units around either by changing the level of the acitivity or by doing the same activity that was recommended during that time of the year and just making it relevant to the unit. KWIM?

    It makes sense to me that family comes first and unit six on seeds/planting is last. The real issue is that it's so nice teaching preK where up until recently, no one was telling us when to do what. It's nice to have the freedom of doing when and what you want in your class.

    Maybe we should create an email group of OWL users so that we can all share ideas or help each other?
     
  14. preschoolteach

    preschoolteach Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2006

    The presenter at the inservice I attended told us that we don't have to do each unit back-to-back. We have 15 extra weeks that we can do our own units. So, Iplan to start with a back-to-school/all about me theme for the first couple of weeks and then begin with the family unit which is 4 weeks. I can spread the 15 weeks throughout the year to incorporate my own units.
     
  15. lhebert

    lhebert Rookie

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    Apr 8, 2017

    I am a 3rd year OWL teacher in a Public School System Pre-K classroom. And let me tell you that I have had my hesitations and apprehensions when I began to teach this style. Its such a scripted curriculum with lots of intentional teaching. Totally the opposite style that I had been using since I began teaching. The first year is definitely the roughest one as not only are you teaching the curriculum but you're expected to create lots of the materials you need to teach it effectively. IT GETS BETTER!! As you become more confident and comfortable in your ability to teach this style the more effective you will be as a teacher for these little guys.
    Best of luck to ANY and ALL who are starting out
     

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